Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP)

Violence-related injuries result in more than two million emergency department visits across the country per year, and have profound health and mental health effects.


The Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP), as part of the HAVEN team and based in the MGH Emergency Department, helps victims of violence recover from the physical and emotional trauma by providing them with skills, services and opportunities so they can be empowered to make positive changes in their lives and contribute to building safer and healthier communities.

VIAP helps to reduce risk factors for violence and increase protective factors by utilizing engagement, motivations, advocacy and supportive techniques.


About this Program

We recognize that acts of community violence are traumatic events that affect both individuals and the overall community. Violent injuries have serious health consequences, including PTSD, and substance abuse. Mass General presents an opportunity for intervention to help aid in the recovery process and reduce recidivism.

VIAP is an active member of the National Network of Hospital based Violence Intervention Programs (NNHVIP) and maintains strong working partnerships with other Boston hospital based violence prevention/intervention programs. To best support and serve clients, VIAP collaborates with community organizations including police, courts, district attorney’s offices, housing, immigration, legal services and other assistance programs. 

2015 Outcomes

  • Of the 16 patients seen while they were in the hospital: 3 were for assault, 7 were for a stab wound(s), 5 were for gunshot(s), and 1 was a witness to violence.
  • There were 19 brief interventions for safety planning, emergency shelter, and substance use.
  • 135 contacts were provided (in the hospital and post discharge), and 29 referrals were made.


Contact Us

Debra Drumm

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